In many operating systems, the HOSTS file is the first step used by the system to lookup for IP addresses for different domain names. It is a table that is used to convert domain names into IP addresses. If a domain is not found in the HOSTS file, only then operating system queries the DNS servers for the IP address. In Windows, if you want to add, modify or remove entries in the HOSTS file then you can make use of the free SysMate Hosts File Walker program.
SysMate Hosts File Walker program is a Windows program that can be downloaded from the J.C.P. blog. The download is a very small ZIP file and contains the portable application. However the program is designed using the Microsoft .NET framework and therefore you need to install either .NET redistributable version 2 or 4 on your system before you can use this. Inside the ZIP archive, you would find the programs compiled using both versions of the .NET framework.
The application interface allows for easy addition and removal of entries. To add a new entry to the HOSTS file, type in the domain name, the IP address (which can be set to 127.0.0.1 to block that domain) and click on the Add to Hosts button. There are also some other options to create a backup of your existing HOSTS file, delete the HOSTS file, restore the default HOSTS file and restore the last modified version of the HOSTS file.
The SysMate Hosts File Walker is a handy tool to edit, backup and restore your HOSTS file. It is designed in both .NET framework versions 2 and 4, so you will not have any problems running it under Windows Vista, 7 or 8. Sometimes when malware programs corrupt or modify your HOSTS file, then you can use this little tool to set it right.
You can download SysMate Hosts File Walker from http://cedric-poottaren.blogspot.com.